Emirates Airlock

In January 2024, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and NASA announced that the UAE will provide a crew and science airlock module, called the “Emirates Airlock” for NASA's new lunar “Gateway” space station, humanity's first international outpost to orbit the Moon.

The airlock module will allow astronauts to enter and exit the space station, conduct groundbreaking scientific research in deep space and perform maintenance on Gateway.

The space station will be a critical platform for NASA’s planned Artemis missions, developing technology and capabilities to support Moon and Mars exploration in the coming years, with a UAE astronaut expected to fly to Gateway on a future Artemis mission.

Gateway will also support sustained exploration and research in deep space, provide a home for astronauts to live and work, serve as a staging point for lunar surface missions, and create the opportunity to conduct spacewalks while orbiting the Moon.

The MBRSC team, led by Director General HE Salem Humaid AlMarri, has begun working on the airlock module, holding several meetings with the Gateway team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to coordinate efforts toward building humanity’s first lunar station. 

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This US-UAE Gateway partnership builds on previous human spaceflight collaboration between the UAE and the US, as well as Mars research and shared exploration priorities. The UAE and the US were among the first signers of the Artemis Accords which set out principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s 21st-century lunar exploration program.

Gateway team
Astronauts HE Dr. Sultan Saif AlNeyadi, Hazzaa AlMansoori, Mohammad AlMulla, and Nora AlMatrooshi tour the mockup of HALO, the first built module of the Gateway Lunar Space Station, led by HE Salem Humaid AlMarri.

UAE and US Celebrate Gateway Collaboration

In March 2024, the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and NASA, held a celebration of the UAE-US partnership in space exploration.

The event included a series of discussions featuring NASA administrator Bill Nelson, HE Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC; HE Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, UAE Space Agency’s Director General; Heyam Al Blooshi, UAE Space Agency design engineer; Karen Feldstein, Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations at NASA; Hazzaa AlMansoori, the UAE’s first astronaut and HE Dr. Sultan Saif AlNeyadi, who was recently appointed the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

Attended by diplomats, current and former US government officials, scientists and business executives, the event was a testament to the two nations’ shared achievements, including astronaut training, missions aboard the ISS and development of the “Gateway” Lunar Space Station.

UAE and US Celebrate Gateway Collaboration

“By combining our resources, scientific capacity, and technical skill, the US and UAE will further our collective vision for space and ensure it presents extraordinary opportunities for everyone here on Earth.” 

- US Vice President Kamala Harris

Harris at Artemis Accords
Bill Nelson Astros
“We are in a new era of exploration through Artemis – strengthened by the peaceful and international exploration of space. The UAE’s provision of the airlock to Gateway will allow astronauts to conduct groundbreaking science in deep space and prepare to one day send humanity to Mars.”
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson